Crypto wallets are software programs or physical devices that store the private and public keys necessary to interact with various blockchain networks. These wallets enable users to securely send, receive, and manage cryptocurrencies.
Crypto wallets come in two fundamental types: custodial and noncustodial wallets. Custodial wallets are a type of cryptocurrency wallet where a third party — typically a centralized cryptocurrency exchange or service provider — holds and manages user’s private keys on their behalf.
Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have long served as the go-to solution for users seeking to transfer their funds between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
The process of moving money from fiat currency to cryptocurrency is called on-ramping, and the reverse process is called off-ramping. Although centralized exchanges have traditionally been the primary method for this process, solutions, such as MoonPay, Transak and Revolut Ramp, have emerged to facilitate the transfer of cryptocurrencies to and from noncustodial wallets.
Despite progress over the years, the “Global Crypto Onramp Report” from Cointelegraph Research highlights that over 50% of crypto payments fail, while the abandonment rate during the purchase flow can reach up to 90%.
The cryptocurrency being on-ramped also determines the success rate of the process, according to the report. As the chart below shows, from a user perspective, buying Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) using fiat can be more successful than buying Ether (ETH).
These on and off-ramp solutions plug into wallet applications like MetaMask and Phantom. As users interact with their wallets through these apps, on-ramp and off-ramp solutions can seamlessly transact between fiat and cryptocurrencies without relying on centralized exchanges.
While these tools help buy and sell cryptocurrencies using fiat, this article primarily focuses on selling cryptocurrencies, converting them to fiat, and depositing them into a Visa debit card from a MetaMask wallet.
Here are steps to withdraw cryptocurrencies to a user’s visa card from a MetaMask wallet. These steps assume that the user already has an ERC-20 wallet with some ETH in it and that the wallet is accessible via the MetaMask app.
Step 1: The user goes to https://portfolio.metamask.io/.
Step 2: The user connects their wallet.
Step 3: The user clicks “Sell” from the options on the top left.
Step 4: The user chooses “Faster Payments” at the bottom.
Step 5: The user chooses the “Debit or Credit” card option.
Step 6: The user then chooses the off-ramp provider, which then takes them to a screen to enter their card details.
In the above image, the term “Transak fee” describes the cost of the services provided by Transak, a platform that makes fiat-to-crypto exchanges easier. Conversely, the term “MetaMask PD fee” refers to the gas cost of utilizing the MetaMask wallet for Ethereum transactions, which is used to pay miners for completing transactions on the Ethereum network. The term “Processing fee” may refer to any additional costs the platform or service provider imposes for handling transactions.
The outlined steps are derived from a user experience with a MetaMask-Transak integration. As both the user experience and integration are subject to change and evolution, the experience may vary slightly from the interaction described above.
Also, users will be expected to undergo an onboarding process that includes identity verification before using an off-ramp solution like Transak. Providers, such as MoonPay, Revolut Ramp and Transak, have similar onboarding processes, different commissions and different service levels for users to get the money. Therefore, users should ensure they comprehend the differences and service levels before initiating a transaction.
Transferring funds from MetaMask to a debit card can be a convenient way to access and utilize cryptocurrencies, but it also presents several potential challenges that users should be aware of. The process’s inherent complexity presents a big obstacle.
Although MetaMask provides an intuitive interface for Ethereum and ERC-20 token management, there is an extra level of complexity involved when integrating with a payment processor or debit card provider. Users could encounter compatibility or technical problems with MetaMask and the debit card provider’s platform.
The price volatility of cryptocurrencies is another problem. Prices on cryptocurrency marketplaces are infamously volatile, changing quickly and without warning. Users are exposed to the risk of price fluctuations from the initiation of the transaction until the conversion of funds into fiat currency, which are then deposited into their debit card accounts. They may experience unanticipated profits or losses due to abrupt fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices.
The possibility of not getting funds within the allotted time frame is another risk of transferring funds from MetaMask to a debit card. Some debit card issuers promote quick or instantaneous fund transfers, ensuring the money would be available in as little as thirty minutes. In reality, though, delays may be caused by several factors, such as processing errors, network congestion or problems with the payment processing system.
If the funds do not arrive in the anticipated time, users who depend on rapid access to funds may become frustrated or experience inconvenience. In addition, consumers could feel anxious as they wait for the money to arrive, mainly if there isn’t clear communication or status updates.
Therefore, to reduce this risk, users should carefully read the terms and conditions offered by the debit card provider regarding the timeliness of fund transfers and potential delays. Selecting trustworthy debit card companies with a history of reliable and effective money transfers is crucial.
Additionally, concerns about privacy and security are factors to consider. Users are giving third-party service providers access to their cryptocurrency holdings and personal data when they move money from MetaMask to a debit card. Selecting reliable and trustworthy providers with robust security protocols is crucial to safeguarding consumer assets and confidential information.